The long-awaited report on net metering by the California Public Utilities Commission apparently sided with utility companies that claim the system unfairly discriminates against non solar users. But as Felicity Carus reports, the commission overlooks come inconvenient truths that will make the economics of solar hard to ignore.
Although the solar market in the US has reached 10GW, size has not led to a consistent decrease in prices for consumers, even in leading state California. Felicity Carus looks at the drivers behind America’s patchwork PV market.
The cost of solar still has a long way to fall in the US before being comparable with the likes of Germany. We’ll know we’re there when people pay as little attention to who made their PV panel as their toaster, says Felicity Carus.
Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto, home to the semi-conductor industry, practises what it preaches by being a big solar user. Felicity Carus looks at the drivers for PV adoption in the city.
Discussion in the US solar world is dominated by what happens when the Investment Tax Credit is wound down. But as Felicity Carus writes, even more pressing is what the solar landscape will look like when state Renewable Portfolio Standards have expired.
Arnold Schwarzenegger may have retired to Hollywood, but the actor-turned-governor still pushes his image as a climate hero and clean energy champion, says Felicity Carus.
Net energy metering for solar users has become the focal point of a fierce battle in the US, with utility companies seeking to undermine it. But the policy need not be at odds with utilities’ objectives, argues Felicity Carus.
As reported, Mike Splinter, Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials (AMAT), is stepping down from the day-to-day running of the company, being replaced by Applied’s current President and former head of Varian Semiconductor, Gary Dickerson.
Solar start-ups have struggled to raise capital and maintain credibility in recent years, thin-film companies in particular. Solar’s popularity on Sandhill Road has dropped dramatically.
Third party ownership is the dominant business model underpinning residential solar in many parts of the US. But with the Investment Tax Credit decrease looming, Felicity Carus asks for how long this will remain the case.